marketing: are you telling the truth?

Recently, I was scrolling through Facebook, and I came upon one of those sponsored posts advertising social media marketing strategies. It promised a free download: something like “10 easy tips to increase your business’ visibility on social media”. I’m sure it was a catchier title than that to have stopped my scrolling, but anyway, I read the post and it seemed interesting. The tone was friendly and professional, and it seemed legit. I read the comments and they were appreciative and complimentary of the content. So, I clicked the link and filled out the form, expecting little but hoping for at least a nugget of information I hadn’t heard before.

Message received

When I hit submit, I was brought to a confirmation page. The tone of the confirmation page was jarring and a complete 180 from the initial post. There was a brashness and extreme casualness to the tone… there were even swear words. Quite a few of them. Now, I am known to drop an eff-bomb here and there… and there. It wasn’t the swearing that got me. It was the complete switch from what I had read before. It was a breach of the contract I thought I was agreeing to, and it threw me off. I decided to wait until the promised 10 Easy Tips arrived in my email inbox before I fully formed an opinion.

10 easy tips?

The next day, the email arrived. Skimming it, I found more of the same brash language that I had seen on the confirmation page. But WORSE, I saw multiple type-os. This woman was advertising her social media/marketing strategies, offering tips on writing content, even offering services to write your content for you, but her very first email to me was riddled with errors. I don’t even know if there was a link to the 10 Easy Tips. I didn’t care anymore. I don’t want 10 Easy Tips from someone who doesn’t know how to spell words. I unsubscribed from the email list, deleted the email, and thought about the lesson there.

Business consideration

Has a scenario like this happened to you before? Have you walked into a store or engaged in an online transaction only to find what you were receiving was totally different than your expectations? What did that feel like? Maybe a violation of trust or a betrayal? I imagine it didn’t increase your confidence in that business or organization.

Now, think about it from your own employment point of view. Your company or organization promises something with its marketing. It sends promises overtly through its messaging about the products or services offered and indirectly through the language and visuals chosen for that marketing, so ask yourself:

  • Does your advertising accurately showcase who you are in a consistent and engaging voice, without type-os? (If not, I can help fix that!)
  • Are the visuals interesting and the design user-friendly? (I can help there too.)
  • How’s the follow-through from your organization–does the action meet the promise? (That part’s on you and your team.)
  • And how about you personally… do you hold up your organization’s promise through your individual actions in your day-to-day? (Also on you.)

It’s something to think about. After this, I looked more closely at my website and my social media posts to make sure the tones aligned, and that they matched my personality and how I want my business presented.

Maybe it’s time to examine your processes and make sure your customers’ experiences match your organization’s marketing promises. Or maybe things have changed, and your marketing needs to be tweaked to better convey how you are currently doing business. Either way, people will quickly move on if they feel the promise made wasn’t kept, so it does no good to rope ’em in if they run at the first chance they get. People trust people who tell truths and are more likely to return to (and recommend) you when their expectations are met.

We know all this… but do we do it? I’d love to hear your experiences.

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photo credit: Tero Vesalainen via Pixabay.com

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